Cosmetics company Mary Kay has filed a lawsuit against digital coupon provider RetailMeNot, claiming the company is selling coupons for Mary Kay products without permission.
Mary Kay claims in the lawsuit, which was filed in Dallas on Friday, that it it does not provide digital deals, offers and coupons to RetailMeNot and has not authorized or permitted the site to list deals, sales or codes using its name or likeness.
Mary Kay is seeking compensation for damages and court fees, as well as a permanent solution barring RetailMeNot from referring to Mary Kay products on its website.
The cosmetics company is charging RetailMeNot with trademark infringement, unfair competition, false advertisement, trademark dilution and unfair competition.
Mary Kay’s business model involves direct-sales through its network of independent consultants and products are not sold to customers in stores or online. Mary Kay believes that by listing coupons on its site, RetailMeNot has “mislead consumers” to believe that the two companies have a relationship to sell products at a reduced price. Furthermore, the company claims that this practice has confused Mary Kay customers.
RetailMeNot is alleged to have offered at least two types of digital “sales” and “codes” related to Mary Kay on its website, both including “unauthorized” links to MaryKay.com. The lawsuit includes a screenshot of a Google search for “Mary Kay coupons” with the top links sending users to the RetailMeNot website.
RetailMeNot has responded with a public statement claiming it believes to be in compliance with the law, but that the company is prepared to fight back in the suit.
“RetailMeNot, Inc. takes concerns related to third party intellectual property very seriously,” the prepared statement said. “RetailMeNot, Inc. continues to believe that it operates in compliance with law and in the best interests of consumers and its retail partners by aggregating information to help shoppers save money using its websites and mobile apps.
“RetailMeNot, Inc. believes the allegations in this lawsuit are without merit and intends to vigorously contest this matter.”